Summer Movie Preview

by Jordan Ruimy

This is the third year I’ve been doing the Sumer Movie Preview for Awardsdaily and it seems like every year the quality only diminishes. Think about it, most of the big name blockbusters that will rake up all the money in the world this summer are either based on a TV show, a superhero movie or a sequel to a movie that never really needed a sequel. So yes, this list does have a few of those and I’m willing to believe they will be good films, but while researching this list I was really trying hard to find stuff that will come under the radar and really aim for more than just cheap thrills. I found nine movies that peaked my interest.

Transcendence (April 17th)

I’m really pushing it with this one since it really isn’t “officially” summer movie season on that date but still, this film looks genuinely thought provoking and it’s from Wally Pfister who’s been Christopher Nolan’s director of photography for god knows how any years. Suffice it to say the plot to this one is very Nolan-esque and it features a pretty great cast, especially Johnny Depp who could probably use a comeback vehicle after quite a few misses the last decade.

22 Jump Street (June 13th)

I loved 21 Jump Street. That was just one of the funniest theatrical experiences I’ve had in quite some time. Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller are really on a roll. They both made that incredible, well reviewed “Lego Movie” which came out earlier this year and now they’re back with this sequel to their 2012 hit. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill – also on a roll these days – are back and ready to attack with this one and I personally cannot wait. The chemistry they had in the first one was really fun and loose and come on, this list doesn’t have to include just serious, Oscar bait material.

How to Train Your Dragon 2  (June 13th)

Let’s continue with the fun stuff. This can actually be a major contender for Best Animated Feature at next year’s Oscars (especially since there is no Pixar film coming out in 2014). The original film was really good and probably the best use of 3D in an animated movie that I’ve ever seen. It was also a great idea bringing back director Dean DeBois, he really did a fine job with the original.

Jersey Boys (June 20th)

I’m really curious to see what Clint Eastwood is going to do with the beloved Broadway play of the same name. He’s a great filmmaker that has slightly stalled of late with “J.Edgar, “Hereafter” and “Invictus”, not living up to the standards he set when he was on fire early on last decade with “Mystic River”, “Million Dollar Baby”, “Letters From Iwo Jima” and “Gran Torino”. I think he still has a few great movies left in his tank, but is this one of them? I’m not sure. I do believe this is Mr. Eastwood’s first crack at directing a musical so we can’t blame him for not taking risks.


Boyhood (July 11th)

This is probably the movie I’m most looking forward to. I don’t know many people who don’t like Richard Linklater. His vast, ambitious filmography really just speaks for itself. After he triumphed with “Before Midnight”, he brings us an even more ambitious film called “Boyhood”, which was filmed in a 12 year span. The story follows a boy’s life from the ages of 5-18. The cast includes Linklater regular,and fellow Texan, Ethan Hawke and, one of my favorites, Patricia Arquette. If the reviews from Sundance and Berlin are any indication, Linklater has just made another great movie.

Dawn of the Planet Of The Apes (July 11th)

2011’s “Rise of The Planet of the Apes” was such a surprising gem. Not only was it a really well made Hollywood blockbuster, but it left us wanting more. We will be getting more on July 11th, albeit with a different director at the helm as the original film’s Ruper Wyatt stepped down and in came Matt Reeves (“Let Me In”, “Cloverfield”) who will have the hard task of one upping Wyatt’s fantastic film. In this new film, the evolved apes will be battling human survivors in a battle of earth’s species.

Get On Up (August 1st)

Given all the time and legal problems it took to finally get a James Brown bio-pic in the works, I was sceptical we’d ever get one. Well folks, we’re getting. It’s about time too since James Brown had one hell of a wild life – one that could easily translate cinematically. The director here is Tate Taylor and he made “The Help”, so all the Oscar cards are set for this one, even though I wasn’t a big fan of that film. We’re probably going to get something à la “Ray” or “Walk The Line”, very by the books but probably very well made. If early buzz and the trailer are any indication, Chadwick Boseman’s performance of James Brown could be worthy of a statuette.

The Giver (August 15th)

Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges do Science Fiction? Yea, you heard it right. This has the potential to be really good. Not many people are talking about it. Add in vastly underrated filmmaker Philip Noyce (“Rabbit-Proof Fence”, “The Quiet American”) and the potential is truly there. This is based on the award-winning novel by Lois Lowry about a futuristic utopian society that gradually appears to be more and more dystopian.

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (August 22nd)

“Sin City” came out in 2005, got critically acclaimed, built a loyal cult following, was a surprising box office success and – in my eyes – was the best film Robert Rodriguez ever made. Since then, plenty of imitators have tried to copy the film but they all failed (yes, I’m even counting “300”), most of them were based on Frank Miller novels. For almost 9 years now there’s been talk of a sequel but it just never materialized. So finally now we get our sequel and,judging by the trailer, it looks as visually sumptuous as the first one. Rodriguez is back in the director’s chair, so we’ll hopefully be getting a good shot of that dark pulp film noir that made the first movie so good.

22 Comments on this Post

  1. Um. What?

  2. Just because a movie is a blockbuster film does not diminish the quality of the movie. Avengers, Dark Knight, Dark Night Rises, Inception, Spiderman 2, The Bourne Ultimatum, The Bourne Series.

    I’m looking forward to xmen.

    And Spiderman as well as a few of the ones you mentioned.

    And 22 jump street? Really?

  3. Mikhaill

    Godzilla should be great!

  4. SallyinChicago

    Get on Up and Sin City are the only ones I’m looking forward to seeing. Transcendence just got a thumbs down at thewrap.

  5. Bryce Forestieri

    Yeah I really disagree with this article’s position of diminish quality. TRANSCENDENCE looks like the male DIVERGENT. Same plot, male lead, more boring. GODZILLA on the other hand looks amazing and if it weren’t enough THE MAZE RUNNER as the cherry on top and I couldn’t be anymore stoked. This piece is in bad taste.

  6. steve50

    “You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won’t have it!! Is that clear?!” – Mr Jensen

    Poor Jordan – he strayed from the unquestioning reverence of those who fly or fall from the sky.

    Good article, Jordan. On the same wavelength and personally looking forward to Dawn/Planet of the Apes and Boyhood – and that’s about it for summer ’14.

  7. @andres, believe me you don’t need to tell that to the editors and folks at AD — Sasha was one of the few really big supporters of Dark Knight Rises holding out on big nominations until the very end — but for every Dark Knight and Superman 2 you have a Superman 3, Captain America I, Fantastic Four, etc …. I give Marvel a pass for bringing us Avengers, but its probably the biggest cashcow of my own lifetime … instead of giving us another Captain America, when is ScarJo going to get her OWN movie? The formula OBVIOUSLY works, might as well shake things up with minimal to no risk (its time people stopped acting as if women are anathema to BO and realise that they have more than just potential to bring it in BIG TIME, esp. as the last few years have shown us) with at least one female-led Marvel or DC movie

  8. ‘TRANSCENDENCE looks like the male DIVERGENT. Same plot, male lead, more boring.’

    Same plot? Do explain, Bryce, because nowhere in the plot descriptions I’ve been able to find for Transcendence suggest that it’s anything like Divergent’s (non-)plot.

    Agreed though that Godzilla looks quite good. If it lives up to its marketing, it’ll easily be the best blockbuster of the summer.

  9. Why is this so poorly written

  10. No T, no shade, Anju!!

  11. Bryce Forestieri

    Paddy, Woodley divers/transcends while Depp transcends/diverts, same difference

    And +1 about GODZILLA

  12. Always a good thing to read people’s opinions.

    I could have put a few more blockbusters but none really looked that good.

    “The Amazing Spider-Man 2″ is already getting very mixed reviews and I wasn’t a fan of the first one.

    “Transformers: The Age Of Extinction”: Not a fan of that series AT ALL.

    “The Guardians Of The Galaxy” looks goofy, not sure what to make of it. Never read the comic books. It does seem like a different type of superhero movie, and i like that.

    “Hercules” does not look good at all.

    I do agree that “Godzilla” looks great and could have been included. I’m still scarred by that godawful one we got in 1998. Director Gareth Edwards might make a good movie but has he done anything decent? I thought “Monsters” was just OK.

    “X-Men: Days Of Future Past” is the other one that I would have added, alongside “Godzilla”, I like how Bryan Singer is back to direct this one. The Trailer looks good as well.

  13. Movies I want to see for the summer

    X men days of future past
    A million days to die in the west

    Edge of tomorrow
    22 jump street
    How to train your dragon 2
    Jersey boys
    Transformers: age of extinction

    Dawn of the planet of the apes
    Magic in the moonlight

    Get on up
    Guardians of the galaxy
    Teenage mutant ninja turtles
    Into the storm
    The giver

  14. No me gusto

  15. evelyn garver

    For me, the opportunity to see Fassbender, Mackellen, Macavoy, and Stewart together is reason enough to look forward to X-MEN.

  16. Bryce Forestieri

    “I could have put a few more blockbusters but none really looked that good.”

    It’s cool. I appreciate that you didn’t and only stuck to what you’re really expecting and not every single summer title — we don’t want to turn AD into The Film Stage because THAT would be in bad taste

    ” “The Guardians Of The Galaxy” looks goofy, not sure what to make of it. Never read the comic books. It does seem like a different type of superhero movie, and i like that. ”

    Here’s other stuff that looks promising. I’ll try and keep it non-CGI as to not glorify those who are destroying everything that is good in the world.

    -NEIGHTBORS got really great notices out of SXSW

    -THE ROVER has all the signs of being a essential ’14 title is out in June I think

    -PALO ALTO looks mesmerizing and many people already raving it as the second coming of CLUELESS (i.e., “the teenage movie of the decade”; not that films are similar otherwise) [May]


    -THE SIGNAL, from William Eubank the director little-seen but very ambitious and highly competent LOVE, is perhaps *THE* Brenton Thwaites (sexy as hell) sci-fi vehicle we should be looking at.


    -I, ORIGINS Good reviews out of Sundance, wonderful premise, ardent proponent of Michael Pitt to the point that I didn’t enjoy SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS at all the first time I saw it because I was pissed at you know…But then I saw the trailer and everything about it suggests subpar, the guy directed that fiasco ANOTHER EARTH, so, on the fence, but open minded about this one.


  17. New Oscar predictions

    Best picture
    Big eyes
    Get on up
    Gone girl
    The grand Budapest hotel
    The hobbit: there and back again
    Inherent vice
    Magic in the moonlight

    Paul Thomas Anderson – inherent vice
    Wes Anderson – the grand Budapest hotel
    Tim Burton – big eyes
    David fincher – gone girl
    Peter Jackson – the hobbit there and back again

    Chadwick boseman get on up
    Steve carrell foxcatcher
    Michael Keaton birdman
    Jack O’Connell unbroken
    Joaquin Phoenix inherent vice

    Amy Adams big eyes
    Berenice bejo the search
    Carrie conn unbroken
    Nicole Kidman grace of Monaco
    Rosemund pike gone girl

    Supporting actor
    Richard armitage the hobbit there and back again
    Orlando bloom the hobbit there and back again
    Josh brolin inherent vice
    Neil Patrick Harris gone girl
    Edward Norton birdman

    Supporting actress
    Viola Davis geton up
    Anna kenderick into the woods
    Octavia Spencer get on up
    Emma stone magic in the moonlight
    Hilary swank the hoseman

    Adapted screenplay
    Gone girl
    The grand Budapest hotel
    The hobbit there and back again
    Inherent vice

    Animated feature
    Big hero 6
    The boxtrolls
    How to train your dragon 2
    The Lego movie
    Mr. Peabody and sherman

    Gone girl
    Inherent vice
    Magic in the moonlight

    Costume design
    Big eyes
    Exodus gods and kings
    Grace of Monaco

    Film editing
    Get on up
    The grand Budapest hotel
    Magic in the moonlight
    A most wanted man

    Big eyes
    Guardians of the galaxy
    The hobbit: there and back again

    Original score
    Big eyes
    Gone girl
    Map to the stars

    Original screenplay
    Big eyes
    Big hero 6
    Get on up
    Magic in the moonlight

    Original song
    Exodus gods and kings
    The hobbit there and back again
    Into the woods
    Muppets most wanted

    Production design
    Big eyes
    Exodus: gods and kings
    The hobbit: there and back again
    Inherent vice

    Sound editing
    Big hero 6
    Gone girl
    The hobbit there and back again

    Sound mixing
    Get on up
    Guardians of the galaxy
    Transformers age of extinction

    Visual effects
    Dawn of the planet of the apes
    Exodus gods and kings
    The giver
    The hobbit there and back again

  18. Al Robinson

    As I write this it’s snowing outside, so it’s hard to think about summer, but I think the movies I’m most excited for are Godzilla, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and Guardians of the Galaxy.

  19. Just saw Godzilla trailer again, I should have put it as the 10th film. Great trailer and I’m very happy Cranston has a leading role, it’s long overdue.

  20. Jahanzeb

    Cannot believe you missed the single best looking summer movie: Godzilla. The second trailer and the Comic Con footage totally blew me away. Cannot wait to see it on 15th May.

  21. mileshigh

    BOYHOOD is outstanding and will be the only above mentioned movie that will be discussed and beloved on this site during the coming months. It is such a masterpiece and I cannot wait for other people who love movies to watch it. What a gem of a movie!

  22. Re: PALO ALTO being “the teenage movie of the decade”

    It would have to be INCREDIBLE to wrestle that title away from the current champ: THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER.

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